About Obsidian Horizon:
Everyone carries with them things that weigh on them, for some those weights take the form of ghosts of people past. This short story is about mistakes made and letting go.
The beating of his heart seemed distant, an echo of the things he’d once held close. Cold driblets of water slapped his neck sporadically. The tree above him couldn’t block everything out, the sky wept up above. His head rested in hands, which in turn were supported by his knees. The trunk felt cold and rough against his back. He was a frail construction about to topple over the moment the wind found him.
The wind left him alone for the moment, and right then, right there, the moment was infinity for him. Tired he lifted his head up a fraction, to stare at the obsidian clouds pouring out their sorrow upon the earth. He let his head drop back into the clutches of his hands as a streak of lightning cut through the sky.
He laughed out a scoffed sigh, face contorting with emotions he didn’t really register. He had stopped listening to his heart a long time ago. What would you say if you could see me now? he thought as he stared at the grass underneath him.
The cold kiss of the storm-touched air made the hair stand on his arms. He was shivering. Did he care? No, not about the cold at least, everything else… well, that was why he was here, wasn’t it?
The wind slapped him momentarily, but not enough to make him topple. I was young, young stupid and reckless. He made another effort to look at the sky, welcoming the chaotic tapestry and taking it in as he might have a piece of art, had he understood art at all. Do you suffer as I have? I would have prayed but I don’t believe in gods… I hope that you haven’t, at least I deserved this affliction of guilt.
Thunder struck down from the heavens above, a slash of light in the darkness. Should I try to contact you now, after all these years? But how can I explain it all to you? His chest heaved as he fought for breath. How can I explain without sounding as if I’m trying to blame something other than myself?
He clenched his hands into fists and leaned back against the tree, easing one leg onto the ground. He watched the storm dance off in the distant horizon. The thunder hadn’t come near enough for him to be in danger yet. Would he bother moving when it did?
No, I can’t reach out to you. I’m out of your life and I will not come barging in, I’ll not make you share this horizon of mine. He drew forth memories from the corners of his mind, made him watch the past play out before his inner eye. There was a lot there he didn’t like.
He let his gaze wander across the sky, searching the horizon for his future but found nothing but uncertainties. He lowered his eyes back to the grass at his feet. Can there be peace for me outside of this moment? Can I smile on my own?
He stood up and considered what to do for a moment. Picking up his jacket from the ground he held it in his hands looking at it for a full minute and a half before putting it on. The warmth of it felt strange, unfitting his mood and surroundings. It was comfortable to a point where it was bordering on painful, too sudden a change.
The first step was hesitant, the second reluctant and the third came of its own. The rain hit him like needles on the fourth and the wind tore at him like a wild animal on the fifth. The assault on his senses came as a blessing, his back straightened, his stride grew confident and a sensation of feeling alive filled his chest.
Turning his back on the horizon he walked back towards the city where it stood like dark monoliths reaching up into the sky. He supposed it made a fairly gloomy impression but he took comfort in it none the less.
I guess I have to live with wondering. The thought wasn’t as bitter as he had thought it’d be. I can’t linger in the past, nor can I run off into the future and forget all about right now. Not when it’s all I have left.
The wind swooped down across the fields of grass, making it dance, past a lonesome tree and off into the direction of a city. Briefly it touched a man walking underneath a storm-ridden sky, a man turning his back on his obsidian horizon.